Air conditioning in vehicles has become standard equipment over the past few years, but it also is one of the most demanding features in terms of energy needed from the car itself. For this and other reasons, your air conditioning and all of its parts need to be maintained – at least on an annual basis.
Air conditioners in cars require a refrigerant and a compressor, which in turn is powered by a belt from your engine. This is why AC equipped vehicles decrease the fuel economy of any vehicle. Inside the air conditioner is an evaporator and its core. The evaporator is used to attract hot air within the car cabin and pumps it through the evaporator core which is similar to a heating element, except that it’s holding channels are filled with a refrigerant called HFC-134a, or for much older vehicles – freon. All of this is controlled by the thermostat, which is set by the operator using the typical dial or digital controls in the console area.
From there, your fan system works to fill the compartment with the cool air. If any of these components, the thermostat, the fan, the core, the refrigerant, the evaporator are not working or not replenished – there is no air conditioning in your car. Failure to maintain your AC is very likely to result in it not working, and due to the nature of how ambient temperatures affect vehicles, it will fail at the most inconvenient time.
The best time to get your annual checkup for automotive air conditioners is at the end of the winter season, or the latest at the beginning of spring. Due to extreme temperatures here in North America, this can be a safety factor as well, but is often overlooked.
When entering your car on a very hot day, it is advisable to let the hot air escape by holding your door open for a few seconds, and then once in your car after your engine has started to drop one window an inch while the AC unit goes to work. Exchanging the air in your cabin in this manner will help cool it faster and alleviate some of the intensity during those hot summer days.
We have a 6 point AC checkup service available that measures your refrigerant, checks wiring and thermostat, visual checks of your belt and compressor.